Wednesday: A Successful Mission
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After such a miraculous deliverance, when commanded by God the second time to go to preach in Nineveh, Jonah obeyed immediately.

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In his proclamation, Jonah (3:1-4) used language reminiscent of God’s destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19). But in the original Hebrew, the word for “overthrown” (see Gen. 19:21, 29, Jon. 3:4) from Jonah’s proclamation can also have the meaning “turned around” or “transformed” (Exod. 7:17, 20, 1 Sam. 10:6). Jonah’s preaching of the divine message was not in [...]

Tuesday: Jonah’s Psalm
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When Jonah was thrown into the sea, a big fish swallowed him up at God’s bidding.

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Jonah must have thought that death indeed was going to be the only way to escape the mission to Nineveh. But the big fish (not called a whale in the book) was an instrument of salvation for the prophet. Unlike Jonah, this creature responded promptly and obediently to God’s commands (Jon. 1:17, 2:10).

God’s providence worked in an amazing way here, and, however [...]

Monday: Reluctant Witness
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In Jonah 1, the Lord wants to halt Jonah’s escape and so He stirs up such a severe storm that it threatens shipwreck.

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The seamen call on their gods for help. Due to the severity of the storm, they feel that someone must have provoked the anger of the gods. They cast lots to decide who will be first to volunteer information about himself that might expose such an offense. For the casting of lots, each [...]

Sunday: The Disobedient Prophet
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Not much is known about Jonah or his family background.

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Second Kings 14:25 tells that he lived in the northern part of Israel and ministered during the eighth century B.C. The same text reveals that Jonah predicted a territorial expansion of Israel’s kingdom.

Nineveh was historically one of the three great cities of Assyria, an important country situated by the Tigris River. Because God is the Lord of all nations and all peoples are accountable to Him [...]

Sabbath: Eager to Forgive
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Read for This Week’s Study: Jonah 1-4, Ps. 139:1-12, Isa. 42:5, Rev. 10:6, Matt. 12:39-41, 2 Chron. 36:15-17.

Memory Text: “‘But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord’” (Jonah 2:9, NIV).

Key Thought: The book of Jonah reveals, among other things, that God is more willing to forgive others than we often are.

The story of Jonah, this rather unusual messenger of God, is one of the best known in the Bible. The prophet had been [...]

Further Study: Seek the Lord and Live!
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“Our standing before God depends, not upon the amount of light we have received, but upon the use we make of what we have. Thus even the heathen who choose the right as far as they can distinguish it are in a more favorable condition than are those who have had great light, and profess to serve God, but who disregard the light, and by their daily life contradict their profession.”—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 239.

Discussion Questions:

As a [...]

Inside Story: One More Door
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Anatoly [ah-nah-TOH-lee] was tired.

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He had been working for hours to share pamphlets and Bible study cards in his assigned territory with little success. He wanted to go home, but he had promised God that he would visit every home he could, so he continued to work.

Anatoly, 13, lives in Moldova, a small country west of Russia. His shoulders slumped as he approached the last house on the road. He whispered a prayer and knocked [...]

Thursday: Judah’s Ruins Restored
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The prophet turns from the dark picture of the people’s sinfulness

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and the resulting judgments to the glorious promises of the future restoration (Amos 9:11-15). The day of the Lord, previously described as the day of punishment (Amos 5:18), is now a day of salvation because salvation, not punishment, is God’s last word to His people. However, salvation will come after punishment, not instead of it.

Amid all the gloom and doom, Amos does close his [...]

Wednesday: The Worst Type of Famine
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“‘The days are coming,’ declares the Sovereign Lord,

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‘when I will send a famine through the land—not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. Men will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it’” (Amos 8:11-12, NIV). How are we to understand the meaning of these verses?

In Amos [...]

Tuesday: Called to Be a Prophet
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Amos’ home was Tekoa, in Judah, but God sent him to prophesy in Israel.

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He had gone to the northern kingdom and preached with such power that the land was not “able to bear all his words” (Amos 7:10, NKJV). Certainly many Israelites looked at Amos with suspicion and rejected him as God’s messenger. In spite of that rejection, he faithfully performed his prophetic ministry.

Read Amos 7:10-17. What familiar pattern is seen here? What other examples [...]